Stress is a state of excessive tension caused by one or more situations perceived as a threat to our physical, mental or emotional well-being. These perceived hazards can be as diverse as being reprimanded by our boss, ridiculed in the new dance class, or being rejected by our person of interest. This stimulates the production of stress hormones like cortisol.
When stress is of short duration, the body will experience an increase in heart rate, blood pressure and respiratory rate that is normalized relatively quickly. The problem lies when you experience so-called “chronic stress.”
With chronic stress, the body produces high amounts of cortisol continuously. With prolonged stress, more serious negative health consequences can occur, such as cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance (prediabetes), osteoporosis, memory or sleep problems, and even depression.
Here are a few techniques that will help control and reduce stress in your life.
Cortisol: A steroid hormone produced by the adrenal gland that is involved in many body processes and assists in the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates and maintains adequate levels of sugars and electrolytes in the body. It is also released in response to stress. Its prolonged release, for example due to too much stress, can result in negative effects on the body.
Deep Breathing: It will help your heart rate return to normal and the extra oxygen will help your brain to think more clearly. Inhale through your nose for 5 seconds and exhale through the nose for 5 seconds. Do ten repetitions and you will notice a big difference.
Organization: Preparing a list of tasks for the day helps to reduce stress. Seeing in writing what you need to accomplish can help you more easily determine the priorities and you can complete them in that order. It is important to have realistic expectations. Sometimes the list of chores cannot be completed in a chronological order and sometimes not everything on the list can be completed.
-Organize yourself. Prepare a list of tasks for the day. Do not forget to have realistic expectations.
-Learn to say “No.” If you do not have the time or energy to fulfill the requests of others, remember that you have the option not to take the responsibility.
-When in situations that cause you anxiety, take a moment to practice deep breathing, meditation or prayer.
-Sleep well. Recommended times are at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep for adults and 8 to 10 hours for children and adolescents.
-Exercise. This causes the brain to produce substances such as norepinephrine that make us feel good and happy.
-Maintain a balanced diet. Be sure to include enough fruits containing vitamins A, C and E, which are also known as antioxidants.
-Always save time during the week for you and your friends. It is very important to maintain a good support system.